In the height of the Internet bubble, it seemed like just about anybody with a fun idea that could be prefixed with "Internet" could get a few million dollars. A few of these companies became something real but most simply didn't produce anything real. They produced a lot of phantom money and helped impress the "get rich quick and easy" mentality on the best and brightest of that time.
After that, the finance industry went nuts with institutionalized "get rich quick without creating any real value."
At least with the Internet bubble, we did create a bunch of experienced web developers. I think the financial bubble just created a bunch of experienced bankruptcy lawyers.
That get rich quick and easy mentality is devastating to the economy. I'd say that's the root of the problem rather than any specific industry.
The saddest part about the waste of engineering talent is that Wall Street trading requires no real skill. Random stock selection or chimps flinging excrement to select stock perform better than the best traders in the long term.
It always amazes me that people that have such amazing skills such as being able to run fast or throw a ball accurately are almost deified by western societies while people with real talent are unheard of.
Naturally, people will chose careers that promise productive and rewarding life---not jobs that pay poorly, in sectors that undergo outsourcing.
The people have spoken, and the demand (and resulting rewards) is high for sports and arts, but not so much for the product of teachers and engineers.
It's all about supply and demand---when we as society had ambitious programs to develop basic science (in the 50s and 60s), space programs (60s and 70s) or electrical engineering (80s and 90s), those careers attracted bright young people. This happened because we chose to put money in those programs: grants for research, programs for NASA, etc.
When we, as society, gave up on promoting such goals, and became content trying to get a 20% annual return on our savings (from 'per aspera ad astra' to 'per aspera ad pecunia') the supply followed the demand and we got a Golden Age of financial engineering --- and we all know how well that ended.
Unfortunately, the political climate is not conductive to investing in new areas, even though some of them seem to me would be a direct economic investment into viable industrial areas, such as clean/efficient energy chain.
Amen to that: Eddy Curry, despite playing just 10 games in three years, made $31 million in the process. That's $1 million for every point he has scored in the past three years.
And I hear the auto unions are now wanting more than the $75/hour they were getting to put wheels on cars and tighten the nuts.
Meanwhile Hyundai is going from strength to strength.
I have friends who work at Xerox and are currently looking for work due to Burns shipping their R&D/Engineering jobs to India. She's doing a great job at promoting engineering (sarcasm). One of my close friends has survived more than 3 rounds of engineering layoffs there. It sounds like she's promoting engineering by the way she runs her company ;)
She also hit the nail on the head, I think, by saying that society should celebrate Nobel Prize winners and Dean Kamen as much as the LeBron Jameses of the world. Most of us have heard similar statements before, and I think most reasonable people would agree with the sentiment.
But how do we even begin to get there from here? It's not just about money--James is a multimillionaire, yes, but he also does something that virtually any kid who is so inclined does all the time—shoot hoops. He just does it on a bigger scale and is better at it than just about anybody else (his disappointing NBA Finals performance aside). How do we go about making kids identify with and celebrate great scientific achievements--which often take years or decades as opposed to a season or four quarters--in the same way? How can we make developing a truly breakthrough technology that will benefit all of mankind seem as clutch and glorious and cool in a child's eyes as hitting a three pointer at the buzzer to win a game?
There is absolutely no question which is the greater achievement in the grand scheme of things, but there is no way the two things can be packaged and showcased in any similar way. Things like Kamen's FIRST and similar programs are worthwhile attempts at this, but we have a long way to go. And honestly, I don't know how we get there.
Noble prize? No one proof reads anything anymore. The standard of communication is falling past the point where it's funny to where you really are not sure what the author is trying to say.
How can you be an engineer or scientist if you can't convey your ideas to others with clarity?
Thats really cool, she identified the problem like so many 1000s before but would anyone care to put their little foot forward.
Calling is easy, the US media is full of duds for whom the only thing worthwhile on the planet is either the Football or the Lilo's lattest mischief. God help the children, but what are parents doing?
She says both, that there is high unemployment and college kids are not taking up engineering&techonlogy- guess she can't connect them together.
I already liked her...she knows the priority. She talks like Indian and Chinese parents except about the money. And she is right about immigration, stopping talented people coming to USA is not going to help.